Phenomenology of The Disaster: (2) The Shared Audience

BOULDER, CO – I won’t presume to know about mainstream experiences of The Disaster, including shelter-in-place orders in, for example, Suburbia, mega cities, or rural areas. So it makes sense to get very specific about the kind of experience that I, and others with my background, location, and interests, are encountering. Those kinds of basic experience form the basis of our communal online audience (which I call The Audience).

I conceive of such an Audience as orbiting an interest area rather than attaching to an individual, a personality. Therefore each contribution addresses that Audience without its contributor trying to possess those people’s attention or coerce the sphere somehow.

As I’ll point out again and again: nowadays audience members and distinct, named ‘audiences’ are like leagues of interlocutors, rather than mere receivers of content that is more or less entertaining.

Who Are We?

So, who are We as this online Audience, here and now, of people who are perusing, reading, and writing daemiangarett.com and its little Web ecosphere? (I can tell you up front: it's a small number as of April 2020.)

LOCATION: At least presently, any prospective worldwide Audience will extend and expand upon who we are together in a specific local community, naturally. (Nevertheless, I am interested in the ontology of purely ‘hyperlocal’ communities online also.)

WHERE: In my case, this means living in a semi-rural city of about a hundred thousand that is less than an hour from a metropolis of almost three million.

ROLES: Given that kind of earthbound location, our We-the-Audience sphere is comprised of philosopher-artists (generously defined, according to the serious tenets of Philosophy but not necessarily from academic and/or Fine Art backgrounds).

HOW: Moreover, we are philosopher-artists who had been caught in the poverty trap to some extent (including perhaps having exacerbated it also) prior to the arrival The Disaster. Now, however, we are intent to pursue real livelihood during shelter-in-place orders.

(By the way, this is the profile of interest and background that I’m using to focus what is published on daemiangarett.com.)

EXPECTATIONS: I don’t expect readers to match my minute circumstances (mainly location, financial insecurity, behavioral austerity, bootstrapped entrepreneurship, living with housemates). But I would hope that those who are relatively affluent can gain more understanding of the experience of ‘survival mode’, of getting caught in the ‘poverty trap’. (I’m putting certain words in quotes because they are loaded terms that deserve re-definitions – see links.)

I would like to expect that readers do love the altered state of pure thinking, and the bliss of understanding (which is the ultimate impetus of ‘actions’), also the euphoria of new ideas and perceptions.

What could be more fun than real, transcendent thinking and imagining?

In my view, however, there is nothing better than finally relaxing, in the most deep way, the ontological or Being-oriented way.  In fact, I will be arguing that ‘philosophical experiences’ are the actual, but underrated source of any artistic amazement and pleasure, and, that this kind of experience necessarily is in complementarity with the full ontological relax.

TOPICAL: For the present, within the scope of ‘The Phenomenology of The Disaster’ posts, readers who comprise the Audience are interested, as it were, in the upshots of this National Emergency: its upshots insofar as this is a threat of destruction, which will be followed by regeneration and re-creation – particularly of families, communities, the economy, the healthcare system, work and labor, the social contract, and so forth.

As such, this Disaster holds the gift of providing a new space, fecund ground, for starting the inevitable, radical revision of existential fundamentals including our ideas of Humanism, of the Western Enlightenment itself, our American Constitution – especially now that the Anthropocene is in full swing, and replete with new forms of The Disaster like climate change, AI, and pandemic viruses.

What Time Is It?

Two observations were recurring while I took a break to lay in the sun in the backyard: First, this shelter-in-place status quo (announced last night where I live) is an epic break in normality, a fissure in familiarity, and it thereby provides a superb opportunity to think.

Real or pure thinking is not replaying stale memories or reinscribing beliefs. Viable thinking has the quality of freshness: to think is surprising, exhilarating, strengthening. So, shelter-in-place is a perfect time to think, first and foremost – and, it is the ideal time to think about what is most important.

Second, regarding the man in the Oval Office at the present time, who acts like a sociopathic narcissist constantly defending his own incompetence: he has become a living propaganda and brainwashing channel (deploying rhetorical sleight-of-hand tricks like repeating key opinions ad nauseum, feigning the look of sage premeditation before each variation). – But, meanwhile we can notice how he provides the perfect example of the opposite of real thinking, the opposite of understanding what is most important to think about (let alone ‘to do’, or ‘to act upon’).


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